Tag: Diet fads

A simply glossary of milk



I’m a huge fan of milk, despite various websites/blogs/media outlets telling us that milk is bad and causes inflammation/gas/bloating. While it is true that there are some individuals who cannot digest milk (they simply haven’t got enough of the enzymes) the rest of us have adapted to be able to successful digest, absorb and utilize the components of milk, without too much of an issue. 

A recent study released by the CSIRO noted that “one in six adult Australians are choosing to avoid milk and dairy foods, the majority without a medical diagnosis, leading to public health concerns for women in particular”. This is an alarming fact, considering the nutritional benefits of consuming dairy products, for example, dairy products are a great source of vitamin B12-Which is vital for the normal functioning of our brain and nervous system, not to mention in the formation of new red blood cells. Another great nutrient those who avoid dairy often miss out on, is Vitamin D, which is useful in the absorption of calcium, iron, magnesium and phosphate. A deficiency of Vitamin D can cause issues with bone density and potentially rickets. 

With all of this in mind, and knowing that the majority of health professional still recommend dairy products as part of a healthy diet, people are still confused about what milk to buy. In my local supermarket I often see people standing in front of the milk fridges looking utterly perplexed by the huge variety of milks on offer. So here iv’e put together your simply glossary of milks:

Whole Milk (3.5% fat) is the whole milk which contains 3.5% milk fat, which is why it tastes so delicious and has a rich, creamy texture. Generally whole milk is homogenized and pasteurized (see below). After babies stop drinking mother’s milk, they usually drink whole milk until they are at least two years old. The fatty acids in whole milk are important to the development of the brain and the nervous system.

Light/Low fat milk (1-2% fat) has some of the benefits of whole milk, however due to the fact there is less fat, there are less of the fat soluble vitamins such as vitamin D and vitamin A. Some brands will fortify their milk with both of these vitamins later in processing. Often skim milk powder is added to it, which makes it taste creamier and also boosts the calcium content. Also called HiLo milk. 

Skim Milk (less than 0.15% fat) or non fat milk, generally contains less than 0.15% fat. Again skim milk powder is often added to increase the protein and calcium content, as well as make it taste creamier. 

Buttermilk, despite its name, is typically made from nonfat or lowfat milk. It is a cultured sour milk made by adding certain organisms to sweet milk, and is popular in cooking. 

Homogenised: The process of emulsifying milk so the fat droplets are evenly dispersed throughout the milk (unhomogenized milk is SAFE to consume and has the fat/cream layer on the top)

Pasturised: The process of partial sterilization, using heat treatment or radiation to make milk safe for consumption, removing all the nasties. The basic process for whole milk involves heating the milk to a temperature of no less than 71.7ºC for a minimum of 15 seconds (max 25 seconds). This process is known as High Temperature Short Time (HTST).

Raw milk: The untreated variety of whole milk, still contains potentially harmful bacteria. Generally is not legally sold within supermarkets, however in some places is sold for “beauty purposes”. Due to the nature of the harmful bacteria it is widely known that we shouldn’t consume raw milk, regardless of what health guru’s say. 

A2 milk: Standard milk contains both the A1 and A2 proteins, however there are some varieties of cows who produce milk with only the A2 protein, and for some people this can reduce the amount of digestive upsets. The reason this is the case is that A1 and A2 milks have a different structure and so for some people, will digest and absorb A2 better than A1. However it is much more expensive than standard milk, so only buy it if you find there is a real difference in how you feel, otherwise it’s not better from a nutrient density point of view. 

In summary: I tend to keep it simple and go for a standard whole milk, because it tastes so much better than skim or low fat, and I enjoy it more. I guess if you were wanting to lose weight skim or low fat milk might be a good option, however I think there are much better ways to reduce energy intake (and there are some studies that show that whole fat milk is actually better for weight loss-due to the satiating nature of the fat and protein content of whole milk). 

I could go on and on and discuss the varieties of plant based milks, however they generally don’t compare with standard milk, however can be a great addition to your healthy diet, or for those who are medically diagnosed lactose intolerant. 

For more information check out these great links:




Be at PEACE with your food


So often, I get asked…Should I eat this? What about this? I heard _____ is bad for me. It makes me terribly sad to hear people demonising particular foods. Then there are all the fad diets that get you to cut out various groups of food, creating more fear behind what we are eating. If you listen to everything you hear online and in the media about food, there is almost nothing that we “should” be eating. There is alway something bad about every food. For example, lettuce, seems pretty standard-what can be wrong with lettuce? And cue the arguments about GMO’s, organic, pesticides….what do we think about lettuce now? Do we believe everything we have heard, and stop eating lettuce for good? 

My thoughts on the matter, is that we need to stop listening to random uninformed advice and pictures we see online, especially on social media. How do you know they are true? Fear sells. And fear gets noticed. 

So what to do about it? Unfollow those crazy misinformed diet pages, get rid of the negativity around food on social media. Only follow pages that have scientific and well researched information, and those that make you feel good about yourself and what you eat. Ask yourself: where did this person get their information from? Does it sound sensible? Are they telling you that you need to cut out or get rid of things out your diet? What qualifications do they have? 

How to be at PEACE with your food:

  1. Get rid of negative, misinformed pages on social media: especially watch out for unqualified individuals
  2. Eat what nourishes your body: You are literally made up of the food you eat, so choose it wisely
  3. There is no food that is inherently “bad” so stop using the terms “good” and “bad” to describe your food
  4. Get mindful peeps! Really THINK about what you are eating. Take the time to actually enjoy it rather than stuffing it in without a thought
  5. Take the time to learn about the food you eat, colours=more nutrients, fresh, whole foods are going to nourish your body better than those in packages
  6. Realise that every food has a place in a healthy diet, so YES cake is fine (but not everyday !), and those chips are ok too (Shock horror a Nutritionist said the chips are ok!!!). Just make sure you are nourishing your body too!

So there we go, a few Sunday musings for you, and forget starting that diet tomorrow, just eat real food!